Shane Van Boening likes to play 10-ball and has plenty of trophies in his South Dakota to prove it.
So when it was announced that this weekend’s Rasson Masters Championship at Astoria’s Steinway Billiards would be a 10-ball format, the three-time U.S. Open 10-ball champion decided to head to New York.
Van Boening made the most of his first day by winning all three of his matches and will be one of eight players who will enter Friday’s competition at undefeated.
“I’m feeling okay. I have to work on the break for tomorrow and try to play my game,” Van Boening said.
The tournament’s draw certainly didn’t do Van Boening any favors from the start, with the five-time U.S. Open 9-Ball champion facing Germany’s Joshua Filler in his first pairing. The two traded games in the first half of the winner-breaks formatted match until a Filler scratch on the break while trailing 6-5 proved to be costly. Using his textbook break shot and stellar pattern play, Van Boening rattled off five straight games to win the match, 11-6.
A couple of hours later Van Boening was again on Steinway’s main table taking on England’s Chris Melling. After Van Boening took a 4-3 in the race to 11 Melling won four consecutive games and looked poised to take an 8-4 but struggled to acclimate himself with the table. A couple unforced errors and lost safety battles later, the two were tied again and trading games. Melling took a 9-8 lead after Van Boening missed a 4-ball but gave the lead away in the 18th game when he misplayed position on the 5-ball. Melling would have a chance to climb onto the hill in the 20th game but left an 8-ball in the corner pocket’s jaws. Van Boening capitalized, clearing the rack and then adding a break-and-run of his own to close out the match.
Also undefeated after Thursday’s competition is Jayson Shaw of Scotland, who came from behind in both of his matches to qualify for the final eight on the winner’s side. Trailing Roberto Gomez 9-4, Shaw clawed his way back to tie the match at 10 and then won in a sudden death shootout.
Shaw then faced an even bigger deficit in his next match against Niels Feijen, who used strong safety play and some fortunate rolls to jump out to a 7-1 lead. Shaw scratched out a couple of wins but Feijen appeared to be in position to close out the 12th game to take an 8-4 lead. However, Feijen committed a positional error and allowed Shaw back to the table.
“After that, I sort of like punished him,” Shaw said.
The reigning U.S. Open 9-Ball champion went on to win 10 of the next 11 games and defeated Feijen, 11-8.
“I felt like I didn’t have a shot in the match at the start. I felt like he was controlling everything,” Shaw said. “But you know, a match changes halfway through sometimes.”
While it’s been an impressive tournament thus far for Van Boening and Shaw, the event is one that Ruslan Chinahov would probably like to forget. The Russian suffered a rare two-and-out on the event’s first day, getting blitzed by Marc Bijsterbosch of the Netherlands 11-3 in his first-round match then losing 11-4 to Filler on the one-loss side.
Tournament action resumes Friday morning, with four matches on the one-loss side of the bracket beginning at 10:30 a.m. local time. Spectators in the region looking to watch the event in person can take advantage of free admission to the facility throughout the weekend.
The Rasson 10-Ball Masters Championship is the second event of the four-tournament 2018 World Pool Series. Created by Darren Appleton, the WPS is sponsored by Aramith, Rasson, Predator, Iwan Simonis, Tiger, and Kamui and our suppliers and partners are Billiards Digest, CueScore, Let’s Go Print, Outsville, UpState Al, and the WPA.
For more information on the WPS, please visit www.worldpoolseries.com.
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